Daft Punk: When robots show emotions

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, Daft Punk: The French electro duo is (music) history. How two faceless robot figures taught machines to feel.

Anyone who was on Daft Punk’s “Alive” tour in 2007 knows what it is like to be a robot. The deafening sound in the Berlin Velodrome put the concert-goers in a dance dance from the first siren, the bass itself eliminated the skepticism of the indieboys, every half minute a new hit hit the crowd like a punch. Until they all consisted of rhythm and melody and were uniformly directed by the robot gods up there on their glowing LED pyramid.

Daft punk: a phenomenon

You don’t have to experience the Daft Punk phenomenon live to understand it. This experience can also be heard on the live album “Alive”, which artfully interweaves the hit melodies with the electronic harshness of a live performance in a single sound collage. Because: Daft Punk were never “in the face”, cold or soulless, on the contrary. The robots feel. Guitar and electronic fans were in agreement long before the “Alive” tour.

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (47) and Thomas Bangalter (46) entered the charts in the nineties with a mixture of emotion and technology. As early as 1995, at the tender age of 20, they were teaching machines to sing and celebrated their first successes with their single “Da Funk”. The debut album “Homework” laid the foundation for French House in 1997 with singles such as “Around The World”. The second album “Discovery” marked the commercial breakthrough in 2001 with the “One More Time” earwig. With their catchy melodies they attracted the mainstream to pull the stick out of its rump with the bass.

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Trotz Roboterhelmen: Human After All

With the extreme success, the mystification began: to this day, interviews with the two of them are absolutely in short supply, there are only pictures from the past, from now on Daft Punk could only be seen in their robot helmets at concerts and red carpets. Instead: music. Her third album “Human After All” sounded delightfully with the title, rawer and more brutal than anything before and was a clear distinction to her hit album. Art projects such as the soundtrack for the film “Tron: Legacy” and a remix album followed. And then nothing for a long time. At least not from them. In the meantime, Kanye West (43) adorned his song “Stronger” with the sample from “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, indicated LCD Soundsystem in their single as “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” and in 2009 the French one Electro duo Justice had their heyday, the rumor persisted for a long time that the two were actually daft punk.

Anyone who thought after 20 years of daft punk that the gentlemen had become unimaginative and lazy by now, was taught a better lesson in 2013 with the fourth studio album “Random Access Memories”. After eight years of radio silence they surrounded themselves with the legendary funk guitarist Nile Rodgers (68), the producer Giorgio Moroder (80), Strokes front man Julian Casablancas (42), jazz pianist Chilly Gonzales (48) and left Pharrell Williams ( 47) sing “Get Lucky” in the outrageously catchy disco funk number. There was never more feeling or a good mood: suddenly the robots wiggled their shoulders and clapped their hands. It rained enthusiastic reviews, awards, Grammy Awards and the certainty that the gentlemen are still on the cutting edge.

If you want to. Which is apparently no longer the case. The legendary duo said goodbye to the musical scene with a video on Monday. The almost eight-minute clip shows scenes from her film “Electroma” in which one robot activates the other’s self-destruct mechanism, whereupon it explodes. The second then wanders lonely and sadly through a salt desert, accompanied by the chorus of her song “Touch”: “If love is the answer you hold – hold on”. Sniff, because of numb robots!

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